cbi: Karnataka govt refers bitcoin, drugs scam probe to ED, CBI | Bengaluru News – Times of India


HUBBALLI/ BENGALURU: The bitcoin and drugs scam, which made headlines in the state earlier this year, is under the spotlight again with the state government referring it to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
On Thursday, chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said the government has concluded its probe and now handed over the case to ED, CBI for further investigation. “The case was handed over to ED, CBI since it has inter-state ramifications,” he said.
Meanwhile, home minister Araga Jnanendra said the case is still being probed by the Criminal Investigation Department. “I don’t want to elaborate since it may come in the way of the investigation. Police will to the root of the problem and ensure culprits are brought to book,” he said.
These statements came after opposition leader in the legislative assembly Siddaramaiah accused ruling BJP of a cover-up and alleged some influential politicians are being protected.
Siddaramaiah said: “If the CM is now saying the case has been referred to ED, CBI, what were they doing all this while? Were they protecting someone? I’m also collecting details and will soon make them public’’ Bommai and Jnanendra hit back, saying Siddaramaiah is making vague statements. “Whoever is involved, politicians from three parties or non-politicians, they’ll be brought to book,” they said.
The bitcoin and drugs scam surfaced after CID arrested a hacker called Sriki and his four associates this January. He had Rs 9 crore worth of bitcoins allegedly acquired by hacking into accounts of people dealing in cryptocurrency. He was also accused of breaking into government portals and sourcing drugs through the darknet. There was speculation that some top politicians and their kin were involved and had been let off.
Meanwhile, KPCC president DK Shivakumar said: “I’m yet to understand bitcoins. I’ll learn about it, but it’s clear there is a big scam. Names of senior politicians and police officials have cropped up. There’s information about transactions and some accounts being hacked. There may be attempts to hush it up.”
On income-tax raids at the residence of his confidant UB Shetty in Hubballi, Shivakumar said the reason is obvious as it comes ahead of polling day of the byelections.
“The I-T officials did not come to my residence, as some reports said. They searched some of my friends’ houses in Bengaluru recently. We’re ready to be punished if we have done anything wrong. But, the law should be applied equally to all,” he said.
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Sagar Biswas

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